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Papers of the Week

2020 Jan-Mar

Indian J Palliat Care



A Randomized Placebo-Controlled Trial Evaluating the Analgesic Effect of Salmon Calcitonin in Refractory Bone Metastasis Pain.


Injection calcitonin is a natural hormone inhibiting osteoclastic bone resorption have been used as an analgesic to control bone metastasis pain or pain due to osteoporosis or fracture. This randomized double blind placebo controlled trial was undertaken to determine the role of injection Salmon Calcitonin therapy to control refractory pain caused due to bone metastasis arising from cancer breast, lung, prostate or kidney. All patients had received palliative radiotherapy and were suffering unsatisfactory pain relief on NSAIDs and tab morphine. Fourteen days inj. calcitonin or placebo injections were administered in 23 patients initially as high dose induction dose (800 IU per day SC) followed 200 IU subcutaneous (SC) once a day. Patients were assessed for pain intensity and quality of life on EORTC QLQ-30 questionnaire 6 hourly for 2 days and on 7 and 30 day. Any incidence of hypercalcemia, bone fracture, nerve root and bone marrow compression were also noted. This study found a significant reduction in pain after SC calcitonin injection therapy at 14 and 30 days' assessment. No patients in the study group required rescue analgesia after 18 hrs. There was a statistically significant difference in rescue analgesics required between the groups during two days hospitalization. Global health as well as physical and social wellbeing was better at 30 and 90 days in the study group as compared to control group, however it could not reach a statistical significance which may be attributed to the small sample size of the study.